Thursday, November 16, 2023


Why is Joe Manchin saying nasty things about Donald Trump?
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, days removed from announcing he won’t seek reelection, said Wednesday that if the nation’s voters give former President Donald Trump another term in the White House, “he will destroy democracy in America.”

... Manchin had harsh words for how the two-party system is currently functioning.

... But Manchin reserved his harshest comments for Trump.... Manchin said it would be “dangerous” to give Trump another term.

“You can’t have this visceral hatred spewing out of every time you give a speech, denigrating Americans,” he said. “And the only good American is the one that likes you and supports you; the only fair election is the one you win; the only laws pertain to everybody but you.”
Why, if you were Joe Manchin, would you reserved your harshest comments for Trump? Because you want Trump elected.

I'll explain: If you knew your No Labels campaign had no chance of winning the presidency and you wanted to win over voters who usually vote Democratic more than you wanted to win over voters who usually vote Republican, what would you do? You'd insult the Republican candidate. Manchin voters will be people who, by definition, don't like either Trump or Joe Biden -- but if they were forced to choose between those two, some of them would prefer a Trump victory. Insulting Trump is a way of ensuring that those voters reject Manchin. Since the point of No Labels is to get Trump elected, I'm sure Manchin, who seems very likely to be the group's candidate, will keep talking like this until Republican-leaners thoroughly reject him.

But wait -- hasn't No Labels said it wants a Republican at the top of the ticket? Yes, that's what The New York Times reported last month:
The group’s chief executive, Nancy Jacobson, has told potential donors and allies that the No Labels candidate will be a moderate Republican, according to three people familiar with the conversations. That decision would rule out Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a Democrat whose flirtation with the idea has prompted a wave of angst within his party.
And yet it sure seems as if Manchin is making the most high-profile bid to be at the top of the No Labels ticket.

No Labels has told its donors -- many of whom are rich Republicans -- OMG! If we put a Democrat at the top of the ticket, we'll elect Trump!

We're meant to read that as Elect Trump? Heaven knows we wouldn't want to do that! But if that's what their donors actually want -- which I assume is the case, given the fact that Trump was very pro-business, pro-fossil fuel, and anti-regulation when he was president -- then No Labels is signaling that a ticket topped by Manchin is precisely how Trump gets elected. (Remember, this scheme was hatched when it was widely assumed that Trump couldn't win on his own.)

So both Manchin and No Labels are warning against the dangers of a second Trump presidency in order to elect Trump. It's obvious.

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